|Member of Rajya Sabha
for Karnataka State (Bangalore Urban Constituency)
24 April 2012
|Founder, Chairman and CEO
20 July 2005
31 May 1964 |
|Parents||Air Commodore M K Chandrasekhar and Mrs Valli Chandrasekhar|
|Alma mater||Manipal Institute of Technology
Illinois Institute of Technology
Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Kannada: ರಾಜೀವ್ ಚಂದ್ರಶೇಕರ್; born 31 May 1964) is an Indian politician currently serving a second term as an independent member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India. He represents Karnataka and Bangalore Urban Constituency, and is an established entrepreneur. Rajeev is the founder and chairman of Jupiter Capital, a financial services and investment company, and founder of BPL Mobile, a major mobile phone service provider in India.
Early life and career
Rajeev was born in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to Indian Air Force Officer, Air Commodore M. K. Chandrasekhar and Mrs. Valli Chandrasekhar. He went to various schools across India, and began studying electrical engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology in 1981, leaving briefly to work for Softech, a start-up IT firm. He completed a Masters in Computer Science in 1985 from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, followed by the Advanced Management Program from Harvard University. Rajeev then worked for Intel before returning to India to get married in 1991.
In 1994, Rajeev founded BPL Mobile, which became a major mobile phone service provider, valued at US$1.1 billion in 2005, when Rajeev entered politics. Rajeev founded Jupiter Capital in 2005, with an initial investment of US$100 million, and currently has investments and managed assets of over US$800 million in technology, media, hospitality and entertainment. He was awarded the 2007 IIT Global Service Alumni Award by the IIT Alumni Association for strengthening IIT's international reputation through his work in helping to design the Intel Pentium chip, for being the architect of the Indian mobile telephone industry, and as a member of Parliament. In April 2013, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum, for his work as an entrepreneur.
Member of Parliament
In 2006, Rajeev was elected to the Rajya Sabha as an Independent Member of Parliament from Karnataka. In April 2012, he was re-elected to the Rajya Sabha for a second six year term as an Independent Parliamentarian representing Bangalore, supported unanimously by all political parties. As one of India’s leading politicians, he has strongly advocated for governance reforms, institution building, Internet freedom, national security, welfare of the Armed Forces Personnel and sustainable city building of Bangalore and Karnataka.
A strong votary of good governance, Rajeev has been vocal and articulate about the issues of reforms, governance and economy inside Parliament and in various public forums. Rajeev has been in the forefront in the fight against corruption in the 2G Spectrum Scam and his continuous efforts in Parliament and in public domain added pressure on Government to agree to 3G auctions, and then later, to increase the price for additional 2G spectrum. Rajeev served as the youngest President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) –India’s apex industry chamber in 2007. As an advocate of Governance reforms, Rajeev took the lead and initiated a series of seminars on Governance reforms including a Conference on Administrative Reforms and Ethics in Governance which brought the Government and industry together on the same platform.
Besides, he is a well known advocator of Internet Freedom. Rajeev has been staunch supporter of Internet freedom and has been vocal against government’s recent proposal to the UN for control of the Internet through a 50-member, inter-governmental body, by raising the issue in the Parliament, writing letters to the Prime Minister, and highlighting the dangers of India’s proposal through articles in the media. Back in April 2011, Rajeev was the first Parliamentarian to point out the dangers of censorship of Internet and bloggers due to IT Amendment Act, by raising the issue in Parliament and galvanizing public opinion against the IT Rules.
Rajeev’s PIL challenging the IT Rules has been filed and will come up for hearing in the Supreme Court in January 2014. Rajeev’s interventions —on the floor of Parliament and outside —not only has raised awareness on the issues affecting the nation, but also has helped him succeed in making impact on government’s decision making process. In carving out a profile that goes beyond the boardroom, Rajeev has made the jump from being an engineer-entrepreneur to becoming a well known and respected public intellectual. As an active Parliamentarian, Rajeev has been lauded and appreciated for taking his role as a member of Rajya Sabha seriously. He became first Member of Parliament to bring a report card —a self-evaluation of performance. The exercise was in a way walking the talk of principles of accountability, which he professes.
- Independent Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, Parliament of India (second term) representing Bengaluru. Was re-elected, unopposed and supported by all political parties, for his second term in Parliament in March 2012
- Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jupiter Capital Pvt. Ltd.
- Founder Chairman, BPL Mobile, 1994-2005
- Director, (i) Bangalore International Airport Limited and (ii) Karnataka Power Corporation Limited
- President Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) February 2008 to February 2009
- Chairman, National Military Memorial Committee, Bengaluru
- Chairman, Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF)
- Chairman, Infrastructure Task Force, Government of Karnataka
- Founder and Principal Donor – Flags of Honour Foundation
- Co-Chairman, Vigilance & Monitoring Committee of Bangalore Urban District
- Convenor, Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development (ABIDe) Task Force
- Founder and Managing Trustee – RC Foundation (RCF)
- Senior Design Engineer of the team that designed and launched the path breaking Intel Pentium microprocessor
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